Seulgi always felt like she was drunk now.
She sat curled up against the window, cheek pressed against the cool glass. The darkness of night didn’t make her eyes burn as much as she peered through half-lidded eyes at the city of Seoul colored grey with moonlight. Even though she was in some new apartment building removed from the city, she could almost hear the whispers of people running around.
Humans, she thought. And she was not one of them. Not anymore.
The thought made heavy and tentatively she reached up and pressed a fingertip against the new sharpness of her teeth. The sensation repulsed her, she knew. But it was hard to feel any sort of strong emotion in this strange haze of lethargy. She felt like a drugged tiger, resting in a cage and flicking its tail harmlessly.
Seulgi was just some declawed monster leashed to a room she hadn’t left in months. Joohyun’s little pet who she would visit sometimes and play with when she wasn’t too busy with work.
She glanced behind her and saw Joohyun. The other woman was slipping off her heels, tossing her long hair over one shoulder. She was wearing a new business suit and the commanding air it gave Joohyun’s slight frame was impressive. Seulgi watched Joohyun tug off her suit jacket, leaving her in just a white button down tucked into her long skirt. With eyes half-open she returned her gaze to the outdoors, ignoring the way her body felt suddenly hot. It always became like this when Joohyun was nearby. Like it was seeking something from the other woman. Sometimes it was blood. But other times she would still be left unsatisfied as she pulled away, the sharp tang of iron thick on her tongue.
“Did you just wake up?” Joohyun asked briskly, crossing over to her and sitting a respectable distance away on the love seat.
Seulgi nodded, eyes sliding to the way Joohyun’s skirt rode up as she crossed one leg over the other.
“Are you hungry?”
Seulgi nodded. It wasn’t necessarily true. She didn’t need to feed every day. Joohyun had even mentioned that to her on one of the rare occasions when she hadn’t fallen asleep immediately after eating. With her face burrowed in Joohyun’s lap and nimble fingers massaging her scalp, Seulgi had heard words distorted like they were whispered through water.
“You don’t have to eat every day if you don’t want to.”
But how else would she get Joohyun to look at her? To touch her? To acknowledge her as more than some lazy pet who would lounge in various states of disarray in Joohyun’s private apartment?
So every time Joohyun returned to her and offered, Seulgi would take. Because out of all the things in her new life, Joohyun was the only thing that she was familiar with. She was the only constant she could cling to and feel a semblance of security. And yet, wasn’t Joohyun to blame for this new life of fear and strangeness. Would she be gulping down blood dripping from a pale wrist, trying not to gag, if she hadn’t met Joohyun? Would she be hiding from the burning overstimulation of daylight and the outdoors if it wasn’t for Joohyun? Would she be-
“What are you thinking about, Seulgi-yah?” Joohyun asked quietly. She blinked owlishly as the other woman reached toward her and grasped at Seulgi’s hand that was limply resting in her lap.
Joohyun’s expression, colored in slight concern and worry, brightened. This solution was an easy fix. Much less troublesome than dark thoughts and intangible emotions.
Seulgi twisted Joohyun’s hand so that it was facing palm up. She heard Joohyun shift closer as she pressed against the soft skin of the other woman’s wrist. When she breathed against the fragile skin she could hear the slightest inhale and the sound intrigued her. She glanced up from Joohyun’s wrist and saw that the other girl was looking at her, eyes wide and very dark with something.
“What is it?” she murmured quietly, mouth pressed partially against the soft skin. Joohyun her lips and Seulgi could see the tip of fangs.
“You should eat.”
“Are you sure? You’re alright, Joohyun-unnie?”
The other woman clenched her jaw and Seulgi stared, transfixed at just how dark her eyes were. The longer she stared the more she felt compelled… to do something. But the need she felt starting to burn within her was tempered with a slight wistfulness. Wistfulness for a time that seemed forever ago when the soft question would always be received with Joohyun’s bashful smile and a soft admission that would take them both by surprise.
What happened to the times where they would enter a world that was only for them? A place where they could be honest and speak what they felt.
But, as Seulgi felt herself leaning closer toward Joohyun, she wondered if that place had even existed? The more Seulgi learned about Joohyun, the more she questioned and wondered. The complicated thing about Joohyun she was finding, was that to her any lie could be a form of the truth.
She didn’t even realize she was sitting practically in Joohyun’s lap until she felt a tentative hand settle on her waist.
“Seulgi-yah, I’m sorry. You should sit back and feed.”
“I was unintentionally making you do something I wanted. I forgot that I can do that if I want something badly enough.”
Seulgi blinked slowly as she watched Joohyun drop her gaze to where she still held onto a pale wrist.
“What do you mean?”
“Because I’m your sire… I can sometimes make you do what I want. You’re a bit special in that you don’t respond as quickly as others.” Joohyun smiled at her and squeezed playfully at her side like it wasn’t an insult. “But you still can be receptive to what I want if I think hard enough.”
“And what is it that you want?”
Joohyun her lips and there was a rare moment of conflict. She’s about to lie, Seulgi thought in her foggy brain.
“I don’t know.”
Seulgi wondered if the old Joohyun would have lied so easily to her. But then again who was the old Joohyun? What made her so different to the girl sitting in front of her with her quiet eyes and careful touches.
“Unnie, I miss you,” Seulgi whispered, her voice sharper than the fog in her brain normally allowed. The sudden clarity the statement gave her mind almost made her wince like the time she had tried to peer at the sunlight behind thick curtains the first time after she’d been turned.
“Miss me? But you see me almost every day.” Joohyun chuckled indulgently like Seulgi was a silly child and the sound dug at her. Was she just a child in this new life, bumbling around and making little mistakes?
Before she could even think, Seulgi had leaned forward so that there was not even a breath between the two of them. The movement made Joohyun nearly go cross-eyed and her body tense. It was a rare moment where she seemed far less composed. The sight uncurled something within Seulgi that made her grimly satisfied. It was reassuring to have Joohyun not be in complete control. Equality was more familiar to her.
So it wasn’t so much effort on her part to end the space between them and press a warm mouth against Joohyun’s.
The action made Joohyun’s grip on Seulgi’s waist tighten painfully and she winced, trying to pull back. But the other girl just leaned forward and suddenly Seulgi was on her back with Joohyun leaning over her, hair hanging around them like a curtain. The moonlight, Seulgi realized slowly, made Joohyun’s hair a beautiful blueish silver. Everything was gentler in the moonlight, she thought as the other girl pressed a quivering mouth against the side of her neck. The touch made Seulgi jerk upward, something burning deep in her core.
“Is this alright?” Joohyun asked with a mouth warm with eager promise.
Seulgi slowly shut her eyes and thought of Joohyun smiling at her in their old apartment, asking a question about why a plow should be pulled by oxen instead of horses. They would never be those people again.
She reached up and cupped Joohyun’s cheek with a tentative hand. All Seulgi had now were Joohyun’s dark eyes heavy with want and a mouth twisted darkly.
“Of course,” she lied.
And so Joohyun took her.